Canon MAXIFY GX6020

The 5 Best Ink Tank Printers in 2021 (Cartridge Free)

Ink Tank printers have become a popular way to save on ink costs, as the ink tanks allow for easy refilling of ink at lower costs than traditional ink cartridge printers.

Today, we’ll be discussing how to pick the best Ink Tank printers, as well as providing our recommendations for the top 5 best options on the market today.

To find the right printers we had to spend over 25 hours in research, writing, and editing the article. And we spent the majority of this time figuring out the proper selection criteria for our readers.  We then found the best products on the market today and graded each of our recommended products with a score of 1-10 on each criterion.

We have also provided scenario-specific options (such as the best wide format printer or the best budget or the best overall, and more). With the help of these scenario-based recommendations, we hope you will be able to find the printer you are looking for.

Enjoy!

How To Choose the Best Ink Tank Printer

How to Choose the Best Ink Tank Printer

After our extensive research we’ve landed on the following 5 factors that are most important when selecting an Ink Tank printer:

Ink Cost

Ink Tank printers tend to cut down the ink prices as they are less expensive to refill than ink cartridges.

Ink Tank printers usually have around 70-140ml ink inside of a bottle. This is massive if you compare it to regular ink cartridges which hold about 5-15ml of ink inside. And most tank printers usually come with some sort of free ink (usually 6months-1year), so this will save you quite a bit of cash right off the bat.

It is very hard to pinpoint the ideal price for inks as there are quite a few factors in play here. Ink prices tend to fluctuate so you won’t find the same prices over time, and ink bottle sizes also vary, making comparisons a little difficult at first glance. Additionally, printers have different types of ink that are compatible with them, further muddying the waters.

For example, if you take non-branded 20ml ink, the price will be almost $3, and branded 20ml inks would cost you $17+.

You also have the option of buying a complete set (like CMYK) or buying an individual color (such as just black).

Hence there will be a wide range within which you can find your desired ink. You should find ink between $17 to $70 if you decide to go for ink sets. But if you choose to go for a singular color you can find them within $3-$20 (Per color). Both prices include both branded and non-branded ink prices.

Print Quality

Print quality means the quality of the final output produced by a printer. Quality is very important for any kind of printer as lower quality prints will turn out blurry, sizing or alignment will be sloppy, and it will be an overall crumby experience.

To ensure quality, one needs to keep an eye out for two main factors:  Printer resolution and the Max Printing Size of the printer. We will be discussing both of these factors in detail below:

Printer Resolution

Printer resolution means how many dots can be put per inch by a printer on paper. And as you might have guessed, printer resolution is measured by Dots Per Inch (DPI). And ideally, you’d want as much DPI on a printer as possible (there is no downside to increased DPI, except of course for price).

Printer resolution is measured in Height x Width format. As Ink Tank printers are InkJet printers, you will find resolutions ranging from 300 to 6000 DPI.

Ideal levels for your printer are at least 300 DPI in both height and width aspects. But we recommend 600 DPI as documents and pictures are much more detailed these days.

In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at printers that have at least 1200×600 DPI to as high as 6000x1200DPI printers. Keep in mind that the higher resolution a printer has the better it can print detailed photographs/etc, but of course, it will have the effect of increasing the price of the printer.

Max printing size

Max printing size refers to the maximum amount of size a printer can print. This comes up if you are looking for printing that is outside of the “normal” ranges of regular documents.  Different formats could include wide-format photographs, printing for crafts (stickers, cut-outs, etc), legal-size documents (8.5in x 14in), and more.

Printing sizes are measured in inches in the USA and Canada, and they are displayed in height x width format.

The most common dimension is 8.5in x 11in, which is also referred to as an A4 printer in the rest of the world (and is measured as 297 mm x 210 mm).

In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at printers that have max printing sizes from 8.5 x 14” up to 9.5 x 14”

Tank Count

Tank Count refers to the number of Ink tanks available inside of an Ink Tank printer. The number of Ink tanks determines how color accurate your printouts will be. So for example, if you print a picture or an artwork, it might not resemble the original if it lacks the proper colors.

Ideally, you’d want at least a Quad-Tank setup. That’s because a CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key/Black) covers a wide color spectrum and increases print accuracy.

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at printers that have tank numbers ranging between 4 and 5.

Direct Printing Availability

Direct printing availability means ways to print directly from your computer or your phone. And as most of the technology has been modernized to print without interaction, direct printing is another key selection criteria that you need to keep an eye out for.

An ideal scenario for an Ink Tank printer would be to have multiple prime direct printing options.  For example, if you own an HP printer, you’d want another direct printing option besides the HP+.

In today’s article, we will be focusing on printers that offer various direct printing options such as Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, and much more.

Print Speed

Print speeds refer to the rate at which a printer prints paper every minute. Print speeds are pivotal while picking an InkJet printer, which are generally slower than laser printer counterparts.

Printing speeds are measured in PPM (Pager Per Minute). And print speeds usually differ in terms of color printing and black and white printing. But ideally, 15 PPM printing speed while printing black and white and 10PPM printing speed while printing color is considered standard. However, the minimum speed you should have is 8PPM (Black) and 5PPM (Color).

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing printers that have speeds ranging from as low as 8PPM (Black) and 5PPM (Color) to as high as 24 ppm (Black) and 15 ppm (Color).

Price

Price refers to the amount anything costs to get them. But in terms of this article, price refers to the overall value something provides based on the price. Based on today’s article, we can divide the price of InkTank printers into three sections,

  • Low Price – $250<
  • Medium Price – $250- $500
  • High price – $500+

Based on all the selection criteria and the overall values, we can safely say that the Canon Pixma G4210 is the best InkTank printer available at the moment. It meets all the required selection criteria and has a decent price.

Our Recommended Products:

#1. Best Ink Tank Printer Overall- Canon PIXMA G4210

Canon PIXMA G4210

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Cost – Low $6 (Non-Brand) High – $18 (Branded)
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Printing Quality – 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution and 8.5 x 26.6″ max print size
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Tank Count – 4 Tanks (CMYK)
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Direct printing – Supported (Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print available)
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Print speed – 8.8PPM (Black), 6PPM (Color)
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Price- $300
    • Our Score – 9/10

About the Canon Pixma G4210

The best printer considering all aspects has to be the Canon Pixma G4210. It passes all of the selection criteria with high scores and the price is also extremely competitive.

Both Ink cost and printing quality of this printer are some of the best you’ll find among Ink Tank printers. On top of having a year’s worth of Ink with the printer, the Ink costs are quite low as you can get non-branded bottles for as low as $6.

The printing quality of this printer also matches our recommended range. With both printing resolution and printing size being up to the mark, quality isn’t an area to worry about. The 4 tank setup on the other hand provides color accurate prints.

While the printing speed section is the part we are least satisfied with, it still matches our minimum selection criteria. And finally, the direct printing options are diverse which has 4 options including Google Cloud Print and AirPrint.

Pros

  • Great print quality ensures printouts aren’t pixelated or blurry.
  • Low ink refill cost.
  • Diverse direct printing options that feature all major printing media.
  • Comes at a great price for high configuration features.

Cons

  • The printing speeds are slightly low.

#2. Best Premium Ink Tank Printer – Canon GX6020

Canon MAXIFY GX6020

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Cost- Low $12 (Non-Brand) High-$32 (Branded)
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Printing Quality – 1200 x 600 dpi resolution and 8.5 x 47″ max print size
    • Our Score – 8.5/10
  • Tank Count – 4 Tanks
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Direct printing – Supported (Apple AirPrint, Mopria)
    • Our score – 8.5/10
  • Print speed – 24 ppm (Black) and 15 ppm (Color)
    • Our Score – 9.5/10
  • Price – $780
    • Our Score – 7.5/10

About the Canon GX6020

For those where budget is not a consideration, or where the most premium printer is desired, we have the Canon GX6020.  Along with the highest price point on our list, this printer has some of the highest configurations in terms of quality and page speed.

Firstly the thing you’d want to notice is the printing speeds of this printer. At 24 ppm (Black) and 15 ppm (Color), this printer has the fastest printing speeds among all printers on this list. It also has a Quad Tank setup which is considered a standard for Ink tank setups.

The direct printing facilities are decent as you’ll have Apple Airprint, Canon Canoprint, and Mopria to work with. And as it is an all-in-one printer, the other aspects of this printer such as the Copier or the scanner also consist of high configuration.

Pros

  • Extremely high printing speeds.
  • This printer has a lot of diversity in terms of usage with the scanner and copier.
  • A standard quad tank setup ensures color accurate prints.

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Ink refill prices are too high.

#3. Best Budget Ink Tank Printer – Epson EcoTank ET-2720

Epson EcoTank ET-2720

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Cost – Low $7 (Non-Brand) High – $14 (Branded)
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Printing Quality – 5760 x 1440 dpi resolution and 8.5 x 47.2″ max print size
    • Our Score – 8.5/10
  • Tank Count – 4 Tanks (CMYK)
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Direct Printing – Supported (Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print available)
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Print speed – 10.5PPM (Black), 5 PPM (Color)
    • Our Score – 8.5/10
  • Price – $200
    • Our Score – 9.5/10

About the Epson ECoTank ET-2720

The best budget Ink Tank printer is the Epson ECoTank ET-2720. Even at the reduced price point, it is one of the best printers on the market and can rival the configurations of higher-priced competitors.

The best thing that we like about this printer is its high resolution despite being the lowest-priced printer on this list.

The Ink prices of this printer are surprisingly low too as you can get non-branded single color bottles for just $7.

The tank count and direct printing features of this printer are the same as our top pick.

As all of the selection criteria meet the requirements, we can confidently say that no other printer provides such value at just $200

Pros

  • Very affordable price.
  • Meets all of the recommended selection criteria despite being a budget printer.
  • Great printing quality with color-accurate prints.

Cons

  • The print speeds barely meet the minimum range for printing speeds.

#4. Best Ink Tank Printer for Home/Small Offices – Brother MFC-J995DW

Brother MFC-J995DW INKvestmentTank

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Cost – Low $10 (Non-Brand) High – $22 (Branded)
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Printing Quality – 6000 x 1200 DPI resolution and 8.5 x 14″ max print size
    • Our Score – 9.5/10
  • Tank Count – 4 Tanks (CMYK)
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Direct printing – Supported (Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print available)
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Print speed – 12 ppm (Black) and 10 ppm (Color)
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Price – $200
    • Our Score – 9.5/10

About the Brother MFC-J995DW

If you have a small office or if you work from home, then you should go for the Brother MFC-J995DW. It meets all of our recommended selection criteria and the price is quite low too!

This printer has the best printing quality among all the printers in this article with a 6000×1200 DPI resolution. Though the black and white printing speed is slightly below recommended, the color printing speed of 10 PPM is on point.

This printer can also be considered a budget printer due to its low price point. It has a 4 tank (CMYK) setup so the color accuracy of the printer also matches our recommended range.

Pros

  • Very affordable price.
  • Super high resolution prevents blurry images or pixelation from occurring.
  • Due to its small size, it can fit in any small space.

Cons

  • The Ink prices are slightly higher than other printers.
  • DF doesn’t auto duplex.

#5. Best Wide-Format Ink Tank Printer – Epson ET-7750

Epson Expression Premium EcoTank

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Cost- Low $6 (Non-Brand) High-$20 (Branded)- Our score- 8.5/10
  • Printing Quality- 5760 x 1440 dpi resolution and 9.5 x 14″ max print size- Our score- 9/10
  • Tank Count- 5 Tanks – Our score- 9/10
  • Direct printing- Supported(Apple AirPrint,Mopria)- Our score- 8.5/10
  • Print speed- 13 ppm (Black) and 10 ppm (Color)- Our score- 9/10
  • Price- $550 – our score- 8/10

About the Epson ET-7750

Wide Format printers are mostly sought by artists or photographers that need to print wide-format artworks. For them, the Epson ET-7750 would be a perfect choice.

As artists will most certainly be concerned with the print quality and ink accuracy, those are some of the better aspects of this printer, with very high scores.

The Print quality area in particular is good as it has a 5760 x 1440 dpi resolution along with a 9.5 x 14″ max print size.

The Extended tank count of this printer is one of the small things that I like the most. While all of the other printers offer 4 Ink Tanks, it offers 5, so color diversity and accuracy or fulfilled.

Pros

  • The 5 tank setup ensures color diversity and color accuracy.
  • A superb print quality section.
  • As it’s a wide format printer, It can print a lot of different sized papers.

Cons

  • $550 is a lot of money for a printer.

Conclusion

This is the end to our guide on the best Ink Tank printers. In today’s article, we mentioned the key factors through which you can find the best Ink Tank printers, we also left out various scenario-based recommendations for you to have a look at.

We researched thoroughly to make the readers understand why things such as Ink Cost, Printing quality, Printing speed, Tank Count, and Direct printing options matter for choosing your printer.

We made our product recommendations based on those selection criteria, as well as specific use cases that many people find themselves in.

We hope this guide has proven helpful!

Sources

  1. https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/printer-buying-guide/
  2. https://www.theverge.com/21279634/best-printer-recommendations-laser-multifunction-inkjet-canon-epson-brother-hp-home-office
  3. https://www.macroenter.com/blog/refilling-ink-cartridges-versus-buying-new-cartridges/
  4. https://www.reliancedigital.in/solutionbox/printer-battle-traditional-ink-cartridge-vs-ink-tank-printers/
  5. https://www.reichelt.com/magazin/en/printing-ink-cartridges-ink-tanks/
  6. https://vsellis.com/understanding-dpi-resolution-and-print-vs-web-images/